When it Comes to Risky Sexual Behavior, Americans Top the List

Durex Global Survey Data Released for World AIDS Day

Nov 30, 2011, 13:11 ET from Reckitt Benckiser


NEW YORK, Nov. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Durex announced the findings of its 2011 Durex Sexual Wellbeing global survey -- and many of the implications are shocking. Among the more eye-opening observations is the fact that overall, U.S. men and women are practicing the riskiest sexual behavior in many measures.  In fact, six out of 10 U.S. men and women (60 percent) didn't use any form of protection against HIV/AIDS or sexually transmitted infections (STIs) when they lost their virginity.

The Durex Sexual Wellbeing global survey, conducted annually since 2006, has examined the sexual attitudes and behaviors of more than 29,000 people across 36 different countries with a goal of identifying areas where safety and protection can be improved.

Durex, a global expert in sex and sexuality, released the survey data to support the 23rd annual World AIDS Day (www.avert.org) taking place on Thursday, December 1, 2011. The theme of World AIDS Day 2011 is "Getting to Zero," and the global community has committed to zeroing in on three targets: zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. The survey finds that people around the world are not being as smart as they could -- and should -- be in taking steps to be safer when having sex. And Americans are the biggest risk takers of all, according to the poll results.

So what did the Durex Sexual Wellbeing global survey find?

  1. Six out of 10 U.S. men and women (60 percent) didn't use any form of protection against HIV/AIDS or sexually transmitted infections (STIs) when they lost their virginity. This number is startlingly high when compared to the lower rates in other countries such as Mexico (49 percent) and Colombia (47 percent).
  2. Among those who risked not practicing safer sex, the largest proportion of U.S. men and women (49 percent) say they were confident their sexual partner was free of STIs, although one in five (20 percent) of all those in a relationship admit they are unsure of their partner's experience.
  3. And close to a quarter of all U.S. women (24 percent) who have taken a risk say it was a mistake they regretted.
  4. U.S. men claim to have an average of 20 different sexual partners in total -- fewer than the men in Canada (27) or Australia (24) but more than in France (19), Britain (17) or Mexico (15).
  5. Meanwhile, U.S. women have had 10 partners on average, the same number as women in Britain and France but more than in Canada (9) and Italy (8).

"It is of great concern to discover how many sexually active American adults are putting their health, and that of their partners, at risk," commented Kevin Harshaw, Marketing Director, U.S. Personal Care, Reckitt Benckiser. "The findings highlight how important it is to continue the efforts to inform and educate sexually active Americans of all ages.

The survey was commissioned by Durex, the world's No. 1 condom brand[1], which carries out a range of health promotion initiatives to encourage better and safer sex. It was conducted online in 35 countries and face to face in Nigeria by Harris Interactive among a total of 29,003 adults (aged 18+) in 36 countries between Sept. 6 and Oct. 3, 2011. The U.S. results had a base of 1,019 respondents.   The complete survey findings will be released in March 2012.

For more information and statistics from the survey, please visit www.durex.com.

About Reckitt Benckiser

Reckitt Benckiser (RB) is a world leader in household, health and personal care. It is an FTSE top 25 company, and since 2000, net revenues have doubled and the market cap has quadrupled. Today, it is globally ranked first or second in the majority of its fast-growing categories, driven by an exceptional rate of innovation—typically about 35 percent of net revenue comes from innovations launched in the prior three years. It has a strong portfolio led by 19 global power brands, which account for 70 percent of net revenue: Airwick, Bang, Calgon, Clearasil, Dettol, Durex, Finish, French's, Gaviscon, Harpic, Lysol, Mortein, Mucinex, Nurofen, Scholl, Strepsils, Vanish, Veet and Woolite. RB people are at the heart of the company's success. They have an intense drive for progress and action and a desire to outperform wherever they focus, including in CSR, where the company has the most ambitious corporate responsibility program in the industry through its Carbon 20 initiative. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, the company employs about 25,000 people worldwide, with operations in more than 60 countries and sales in almost 200 countries. For more information visit RB.com.

About World AIDS Day

The theme for World AIDS Day, Dec 1, 2011, is "Getting to Zero." After 30 years of the global fight against HIV and AIDS, this year the global community has committed to focusing on achieving 3 targets: "Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths." Progress towards meeting these targets has already started. Annual new HIV infections have dropped by 15 percent since 2001 and AIDS-related deaths have declined from 2.2 million in 2005 to 1.8 million in 2010. The achievements of individuals, communities and political leaders over the last 30 years are reflected in the impressive gains that can be seen today. However, getting to zero requires the global community to continue its commitment to universal access to antiretroviral treatment, to delivering HIV and AIDS education and to eliminating all forms of stigma and discrimination. Play your part in the global action against HIV and AIDS, take the AVERT AIDS Challenge and raise awareness by sharing it this World AIDS Day.

[1] Based on global Nielsen unit share data for the 52 weeks ending 1/1/11



Cindy Tanenbaum
Euro RSCG Worldwide PR



SOURCE Reckitt Benckiser